20 May 2012 | wandereramor
Competent but kind of pointless
Evangelion has been a never-ending cash cow for Gainax and all associated parties since it was released, so it's not surprising that they've decided to go back to the well with a four-movie revision of the original series. The new movies offer a chance to see Evangelion animated with the budget that such a famous title deserves. The fight scenes are slick and everything is well put-together. It's not absolute top of the line animation, and it hews very closely to the default anime art style, but it's certainly better than the infamously low-budget original animation.
My memory of the original series is a little hazy, but what's shocking about this movie is how close it sticks to the TV show. Several scenes are line-for-line, shot-for-shot reprises of scenes from the original, and as far as I could tell there weren't any major changes in the plot, although I think the order of the Angels might have been shuffled around a bit. The main change is tightening everything up and making it an efficient, fast-moving giant robot action movie.
And that's fine if your main problem with Evangelion was the lack of action, but it also removes a lot of the show's style, and completely eliminates its almost meditative pace. With an actual animation budget, the show doesn't need animation shortcuts like the long almost-still scenes that crop up periodically, but losing those makes Evangelion lose some of its definitive flavour. A lot of the moments in the movie just don't have the emotional impact that their equivalents in the TV series do -- it's just one plot point after another.
Evangelion 1.0 is an effective movie, and retains some of the original's charm. But all the same I feel I can't really recommend it to anyone. If you've seen the TV show, this will all be a retread for you. If you haven't, then I would still recommend the original over this remake. The original series was far from perfect, and there was a bunch of room for a new interpretation of the general story, but Evangelion 1.0 chooses to play it safe and winds up being kind of forgettable.